Due to a work emergency, today’s entry will be shorter and less thorough than usual. I apologize for this. 

Maduro met with former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero today in Caracas as part of the diplomat’s effort to kick-start a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

The meeting was announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez through her Twitter account. Rodriguez said that the two men were meeting to “forward the national dialogue for Peace [sic], defense and sovereignty”.

She did not provide any more details on the meeting.

Below, a picture of Maduro and Zapatero meeting in Caracas today. Jorge Rodriguez, another high-ranking PSUV official, is sitting on the left

Cabello: NA, Gov’t Relations Beyond Repair

When the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) won an unprecedented supermajority at last year’s parliamentary elections, the opposition bloc agreed to rotate the presidency of the national legislature among its leaders. The MUD elected Henry Ramos Allup as the National Assembly’s president shortly after the election victory last December, with the stipulation that he would give up the post in 2017 and allow another opposition leader to hold the position for one year.

Today, PSUV vice-president Diosdado Cabello said that it would be “impossible” for the next National Assembly president – whoever that may be  – to work with the national government given the distances between the two sides. Cabello said:

For leaders like Ramos Allup, the destruction of the National Assembly is a necessity. That’s their way of staying there and achieving their ambitions (…) it’s going to be impossible for the next [person] to lead the National Assembly next year to repair the relationship with the government.

Patricia Ceballos Held for Five Hours, Denied Access to Imprisoned Husband

Patricia de Ceballos, Daniel Ceballos’ wife, was held for five hours today at the gates of the SEBIN headquarters today when she attempted to visit her husband. Daniel, the former mayor of San Cristobal, Tachira state, has been in detention since 2014 and is one of Venezuela’s most famous political prisoners.

After waiting for five hours, Patricia was told that she would not be able to visit her husband. Patricia’s birthday is today, and she was hoping to celebrate it with Daniel. Patricia also said that her children have now gone two months without seeing their imprisoned father.

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